Every once in a while I grab my document folders marked with a capital N like NICOLAUS. This family branch just fascinates me.
Two weeks ago it was time to go through my notes and documents to search for hints I didn’t see the last trillion times 🙂 And what shall I say, in 90% I find something new.
NICOLAUS is my mom’s maiden name. And this blogpost is about my greatgrandfather Albert Karl Julius NICOLAUS, born August 15, 1871 in Königsberg, East Prussia (today’s Kaliningrad, Russia). He married Ida BIERNATH and the couple had two daughters:
- Else NICOALUS, born October 22, 1900 in Königsberg (you can read her story here)
- Eva Louise NICOLAUS, born April 11, 1902 (have a look here to learn the latest about her)
1918 my greatgrandfather lived in Dresden (Saxony). On August 15, 1918 he married again, this time in Halle/Saale in Saxony-Anhaltina. This time my greatgrandmother Hedwig Agnes Clara RIBBE. I still cannot reconcile how the two met. I mean Dresden and Halle/Saale are not exactly around the corner!
Albert and Hedwig also had two children (and I begin to realize, that 2 is quite common in this blogpost ;)):
- Annemarie NICOLAUS, born June 26, 1919 in Halle/Saale
- Wolfgang Albert NICOLAUS, born February 12, 1921 in Halle/Saale (my grandfather)
My greatgrandmother has been married before and also had two children. Following the wedding, Albert moved from Dresden to Halle/Saale and took over my greatgrandmom’s first husband’s hotel and school for dancing and etiquette, called “Goldener Hirsch” (Golden Deer)
1920 when the horse race track in Halle/Saale reopened after WWI, my greatgrandfather took over the management of the restaurants on top of his own business.
Following the death of my greatgrandmother in September 1926 he re-married again on January 2, 1929. This time the family’s nanny Maria Gertrud Ellie RUDOLF.
According to family history, Albert died on October 20, 1931 in Halle/Saale. But despite intensive research in the city archive, I couldn’t find his death certificate yet.
So far, so good. Up until here, everything makes sense and matches the information I received from my greataunt Annemarie before she died.
When I grabbed my notes and documents again 2 weeks ago I had the idea to check with the city archive of Dresden (where he lived when he married my greatgrandmother 1918) if they still had the registration cards of that time.
It only took them a couple of days to send me a very nice reply. The registration cards have been lossed during WWII. But they recommended to check ancestry.de. There I could find the marriage of the humorist Albert Karl Julius NICOLAUS.
Excuse me? Humorist? Never heard of that before, that is total news to me.
First thing, I googled his name in the combination with “humorist” – nothing, niente! Well, maybe he just wasn’t that successful? 😉
And then I turned to ancestry and check the collection of “Berlin, Germany Selected Marriages, 1874-1920 (in German)” and in the year 1908 I really found a wedding entry. On August 6, 1908 the humorist Albert Karl Julius NICOLAUS married Josepha SIEBER from Memmingen in Bavaria. The next mystery: how did she come from Bavaria to Berlin? I quickly check his birthday and his parents and OMG it was really my greatgrandfather!
Very interesting on this wedding certificate are the remarks on the right. The first one states that the marriage has been divorced on July 20, 1917 in Dresden by the verdict of the Royal Saxon district court.
The second one below that states that Albert prohibited Josepha the usage of his family name NICOLAUS and that the same court has decided that Josepha carried the sole guilt for the failure of this marriage.
I immediately asked myself what “horrible” things Josepha must have done to not only be the one to blame but that Albert also denied her his family name NICOLAUS?? Another mystery to solve.
But what really confused me was the second page of the wedding entry.
But I know for sure that before the marriage with my greatgrandmother he had two girls and that the name of their mother was Ida BIERNATH – the above mentioned Else and Eva Louise. This is what my greataunt told me and the names are also stated on the death certificate of Eva Louise.
And this is what confuses me. Did he just “forget” to mention to the registrar in Berlin that he was married before in Königsberg/East Prussia? Or was it normal to have two illegitimate children and still provide them with the father’s last name?
Mysteries over mysteries to solve – GREAT!!